Home Feature New U.S. Visa fees for foreign artists may impact touring

New U.S. Visa fees for foreign artists may impact touring

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The increase in Visa fees for foreign artists and performers has raised concerns about their ability to tour in the U.S.

The Associated Press reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has increased these fees by 250 per cent, making it costly for international artists to enter the country.

This year, a Visa application fee can cost between $1,615 to $1,655 per person. Last year’s pricing stood at $460 per person. The increase also includes a $600 Asylum Program Fee.

Without taking into account the managers, security, backup performers, and other backstage crew that accompany artists, this may drastically affect how foreign artists will be able to perform.

Earlier this year, the increase in application fees was part of a larger group of proposed rules by the Department of Homeland Security. They served as a way to adjust the USCIS’s fee schedule to cover operational costs, according to Regulations.gov.

Touring artists entering the U.S. are eligible for a P-2 Visa. To receive one, their sponsoring labour organization or employer from the U.S. must file a Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, otherwise known as Form I-192. Separate forms must be submitted for additional personnel as well, the USCIS states.

However, American artists entering most foreign countries do not have to obtain a Visa to perform and are under an exception to tourism rules, the Associated Press said.

With this new fee put in place, this will no doubt dramatically reduce the number of foreign artists who tour in the U.S. Most importantly, acts from all over the world, no matter how big or small, will be shut out from major American exposure, said Alan Cross.

Independent and emerging artists will be hit the hardest by this new change, and it will soon impact others in the music touring business. Venues and festivals that look at booking international artists may lose their chances due to these costs, and ticket prices could increase.

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